How do you deal with rude patients? - page 2
I am a new nurse, just graduated in May. I am beginning to question whether or not I made the right career choice. The main reason is I cannot stand being yelled at sworn at and basically treated... Read More
Sep 15, '02Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 4,738; Likes: 104I don't put up with anything, when it comes to those who know what they're saying. 'I recall saying "I'm going to step out and come back so that you can rephrase that question...."
Sep 15, '02Occupation: RN-i (RETIRED) Specialty: ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89 ; From: US ; Joined: May '00; Posts: 14,479; Likes: 2,298The LOOK
"My beeper is going off, I'll be back."
Get away from the situation even if it's just stepping outside.
Call patient relations "with family's concerns,"
By rude I assume you don't mean the patient who broke my cheekbone with a kick, or the visitor who shoved me into a doorframe....both those made it to police reports and charges.
Sep 15, '02Occupation: Director of nursing in an assisted living facility Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 708; Likes: 3Like Bob & I.rae I respond in kindness,,, sometimes,,, the timing is important,,, with the 'look',,,,,
I am quiet,,, let them finish,,, try to answer thier specific complaint,,,
& move on,,,, my shift to be over,,,, soon!
Many years ago,,, after a night shift from Hell!!! giving report to the 7-3 nurse,,, felt so bad,,, knowing the day she was going to have,,, She looked at me and sad,,,, no matter what,,, 3 o'clock will be here,,,,
On my worst shift,,,, those words have help me many times make it through,,,,
Sep 15, '02Occupation: neonatal nurse Joined: May '01; Posts: 140; Likes: 5Weorking on NICU My patients are too small to cause problems but there parents and other rels sure aren't.
First they get asked to moderate their language asked to sit down and an attempe made to find out what the problem is and a warning that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated (We look after each other I have stepped in for a jumior Dr and I have had other nursed Dr's step in for me). They will be warned that abusive behaviour will result in them being removed from the unit by security and the police involved and may result in them not benig re admitted (there are posters all over the hospital to this affect).
If they continue to cause a problem the senoir nurse or manager and registar or consultant will take them on one side and repeite the above.
security and police has and will be called if necessity warents it and we have had parents (usually Dads) baned from the unit and if violance occures WE PRESS CHARGES no question no exceptions.
All Emergency departments and GP surgeries have a similar policy, and there is a Gp clinic in the local police station where those who are unable to get care due to there behavoiur can get primary health care on 2 days a week.
Sep 15, '02Joined: Sep '01; Posts: 16,606; Likes: 680What to do with a rude patient..........SMACK 'EM!!! :chuckle
Just teasing........really I am.....
Sep 15, '02Occupation: neonatal nurse Joined: May '01; Posts: 140; Likes: 5how I've felt like smakin a few recently LOL
Sep 15, '02Joined: May '02; Posts: 399; Likes: 8Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
What to do with a rude patient..........SMACK 'EM!!! :chuckle
Just teasing........really I am.....:
I felt like smacking the woman who was upset because we were more concerned about the guy whose systolic was 52 more than we were concerned about turning her flippin' lights out!!! She said and I quote "I don't care if you've got an emergency. I need some attention." God forbid that this insensitive ----- should ever need emergency help!
Sep 15, '02Joined: Sep '01; Posts: 16,606; Likes: 680karen and molly.......right on.......there ARE those patients where you just want to ring their necks.....had a few in my time. :chuckle
Sep 15, '02Occupation: RN-Vent Unit Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 92; Likes: 6I REALLy feel about rude patients, I am also a new grad, well 1 year old experienced RN and sometimes I feel so burned out already
You will have your really bad days when you feel the world its just collapsing but then you think Gosh, the shift its almost over, I will out of this place and I would be free
Laughiing , making jokes with your coworkers, which I love is the best way to keep on going.
Sep 15, '02Occupation: RPN(reistered practical nurse) Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 57; Likes: 49You are not in a new situation at all. I found the longer I was in the nursing profession, the tougher my skin got. I too will make eye contact and that my hearing aids are in A-1 condition, etc. Sometimes a little humour does go a long way. The other day, one of our patients was being very sarcastic with one of my co-workers. My co-worker called her up on it and she did apologize. It is a tough call. There is no excuse for rudeness. Sometimes you just have to take it from where it comes. Hope that helps. Hang in there!! The best of luck to you in your nursing carreer.
Sep 15, '02Joined: Jun '00; Posts: 1,017; Likes: 32As a new grad this is one of the hardest issues to deal with primarily because you expected that people would be glad you are there taking care of them. Sometimes people are simply rude because no one has ever told them their behavior is inappropriate.
An alert and oriented person has NO CALL to be rude or nasty. I can take it from people who are confused, I can take it from trauma patients who simply don't understand what they are doing. But after 11 years of nursing I absolutely will not take it from an A and O patient. Ever. It is my belief that once nurses get over the idea that it's ok for a patient to act out because they feel a loss of control or because they are in pain or whatever the excuse is, will be the time nurses may decide that simply by virtue of what you have chosen as a profession does not mean it is ok to be treated less than human.
I have found over time it is best to confront the situation and be professional while doing so. I usually say something to this effect. "I am here to take care of you and your needs, I am not here to take abuse. Your behavior is inappropriate, you may not shout at me, you may not swear at me. I will be happy to assist you in any way needed if you will let me know in a reasonable way what it is that you need."
Last month I had a patient approach me at the nursing station while I was on the phone with a physician about another patient. This man proceeded to yell at me so loud the doc was asking who that was and what it was all about. I asked to put the doc on hold so I could switch to a different phone. I then left the nursing station and ignored the disruptive patient, went into the conference room to continue my call with the physician. After I was finished with that I went to the patient's room where he had gone. I brought another nurse with me as a witness. The patient had been yelling because I had not stayed over my shift and waited for an abdominal binder to come up from supply and then place it on him. I am the wound nurse. The binder had come up about half an hour after I left and was placed by the primary nurse. Anyway I went to the patient's room, told him I was sorry the binder had not come up sooner, however that I had no control over supply. That it was my understanding that he had gotten the binder and that it had been within a reasonable length of time, and that it had been placed by the primary nurse, was I correct? He said yes. I then told him that I felt it was incredibly inappropriate for him to have behaved the way he had at the nursing station, that I did not put up with that type of behavior, and that I didn't allow my husband to speak to me that way, I certainly would not put up with a patient speaking to me that way. He then informed me that I should have waited for the binder and put it on. I told him that putting on a binder did not take rocket science, that the primary nurse was perfectly capable of doing so, and that it was inappropriate for him to feel that I should stay overtime in order to get a binder. That I had a life outside of the hospital that included children and a husband. But that my main point was that his behavior over the situation was totally uncalled for and that I did not put up with this type of behavior. Since I determine who is actually on my case load that I was at this time discharging him because the only reason I was seeing someone with a closed incision was because I had initially been consulted to find something to deal with the large amount of drainage he was getting, but had kept him on my case load as a courtesy to both the physician and my fellow nurses as then the primary nurse did not have to do the dressing changes allowing them time to other needed tasks, but since he felt I was not able to offer the services he needed I felt it best not to continue him on my case load. I then left the room, charted what had occured, let my clinical coordinator know what happened, and then called the doc on the case to let him know why I would no longer be seeing the patient. The following day when the physician saw the patient the patient complained to the doc about me refusing the see him again. Doc told him he knew what had happened, and that he had yelled at me once and got yelled back at so he didn't do it anymore and suggested the patient do the same.
The day before the patient was discharged from my facility I got a heartfelt apology.
I don't know how much your management backs you, but my management does not believe their nurses have to take this kind of bull crap. I tell you this story not because I want to toot my own horn, but because you can handle a nasty patient bluntly and professionally at the same time. It is difficult the first few times but then it gets easier as time goes on. You are a doormat only if you allow yourself to be one.
I believe we do a disservice when we allow patients to behave badly because they had a loss of control, or whatever. Being ill is not easy for anyone, but that does not make it acceptable to behave abusively. If that were the case than you would have patients treat physicians and other ancillary staff the same way, but 99% of the time that does not happen. It is the nurse who gets the brunt of it because somehow or another people think that is acceptable, including other nurses. It is not acceptable. Not once have I had an alert and oriented patient who behaved this way continue to behave rudely once I let them know I didn't find it acceptable. The vast majority of the time I get an I'm sorry, and once they let me know what it is they need I make sure they get it.
The idea that it is ok to swear at the nurse or be overty rude because the patient is (fill in the blank) is a bunch of horse puckey. Take it only if you are willing to continue to take it. And take it only if you are willing to let this type of behavior drive you from the field you spent a great deal of time and effort to be able to do.